Charles Bonvin Pinot Noir Terra Cotta 2010, AOC Valais, Switzerland

At the autumn 2012 Swiss Wine event in Montreal, Pinot Noirs were essentially ubiquitous at every winemaker’s stand, the 2010 Charles Bonvin Pinot Noir Terra Cotta was in my opinion a standout offering from that finicky varietal. I was struck by the simple and unwooded Swiss approach to the grape that is now grown all over the world. With too much of the world trying to monster vinify the tricky grape into a Cabernet Sauvignon, I found myself tasting wine that was fresh and natural on both the nose and in the mouth.


Strip away all the wood elements, forget about worrying if this Pinot is appropriate for cellaring and open your mind to an easy sipper. On the nose, slow release raspberry and blueberries offer the first wave. Many of the Pinots at the show had a tree bark or eucalyptus component to the smell – the Charles Bonvin Pinot was an example where those notes were present but more discrete.


Into the gulp the 2010 Charles Bonvin Pinot Noir is an example of winemaking with an accent on freshness first and crisp berry fruits that refresh your mouth and make you want to go for that second gulp or glass. No tannins to dry your mouth out, very much in the natural style that seems to be in vogue. I am guessing this is a wine that disciples of Alice Feiring would tend to dig. Good Stuff.


Musical Match: Daniel Lanois’ stripped down, undistorted, natural and pretty “Falling at Your Feet” captures this 2010 Charles Bonvin Pinot Noir Terra Cotta very well. In a collaboration with Bono and the Edge from U2, this performance shines in the simplicity of it’s production. It is very refreshing to hear these masters of their crafts make themselves vulnerable and honest, when we know how comfortable they are in the comfortable confines of extravagant theatrical production. Despite the simple style of both the wine and the music, and the lack of the artifices we have become accustomed to enjoying them with – the wine and the song are bursting with authenticity and beauty. Enjoy the #wineandmusic.

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